The weather isn’t following the rules at all – it’s June and in my eyes, that means it should be two things – warm and sunny. We should we walking around in summer dresses, with huge sunglasses and sandals. We should be drinking Pimms in our gardens, hosting barbeques with our families and looking for the best spots for al fresco lunch – those are the summer rules, aren’t they?! So, like the weather, I’ve not been following my rule of not eating out more than once a week either. Naughty I know, but it’s been a busy few weeks – I was off work ill with gastroenteritus (yep it sucked!) and then had a week away in Dubai (heaven – watch this space for more content on it!) but now I’m back, and hopefully back to stay!
Of course, I’ve gone ages without writing a food post and now I’ve only gone and written two in a go, but #sorrynotsorry. I have a list, longer than my arm, of new restaurants to check out, and in one week I ticked off two: the Clove Club and Roka. We’d managed to secure Time Out vouchers to get Roka’s famous bottomless brunch £42 per person, including 10 small plates, a main, a very moreish Bellini and unlimited wine/prosecco, as well as an epic dessert platter for the table! It may well have become my new favourite London brunch spot!
Rather than go through each and every dish, I just want to say you NEED to go here. It’s brilliant and I want you to love it like I do. I’m going to skip to the good part and tell you what dishes you just have to order, the things you must try at Roka, whether you have the brunch or just go for lunch or dinner. These are my top five dishes at Roka (in no particular order):
- Tokusen sashimi moriwase – Chef’s selection of sashimi.
Roka’s sashimi is perfect. The selection on the day was of tuna, salmon and yellowfin – I couldn’t pick between them as they were all fresh, delicious and perfectly sliced. Served on ice, with wasabi and pickled ginger, these were a triumph and I was really impressed by the quality.
- Kabocha to amaimo no salada – Japanese pumpkin and sweet potato salad.
This is about as far from a salad as can be. I’d liken it to a creamy, cool, flavour-packed sweet potato mash. Sounds weird, right? Honestly, this is one thing you CANNOT leave without trying. A bowl of sunset coloured perfection! This “salad” is perfectly balanced, smooth with crispy bits and fresh chives. It’s served cold (and that’s probably the only thing that it has in common with a usual salad!) It was impossible to tackle with chopsticks but truly the most moreish mash / salad that I’ve tasted in years!
It sounds odd. I know. But trust me, it was so so delicious, that I kept wanting to save a bit to the end. The waiters kept coming to clear up our plates, to make space for other dishes, only to hear Eppie, Katie and I repeat “no… no not that one, we’ll keep that!” We refused to give up those last few morsels… Hey, there may only have been a teaspoons worth left in there but none of us were letting that go to waste – it was a plate of heaven. Truth be told, I saved that last bite until just before dessert and it was worth it! I don’t want to be bossy and tell you what to order at Roka but seriously, you need this!
- Tai no miso-yaki – Sea bream fillet, ryotei miso and red onion.
This hulking, meaty piece of fish, with its subtle umami flavours was exquisite. Perfect, soft, flaky fish, with subtle flavouring and a slight charred finish. Incredible!
- Kobuta no ribs yawaraka nikomiyaki – Glazed baby back ribs with crushed cashew nuts.
These are the special type of dish that you don’t order on a first date (they’re the sticky type that get EVERYWHERE and I have zero chance of eating these gracefully!). They’re the perfect blend of sweet, spiced, sticky and just a masterpiece, needing nothing but a tiny squeeze of lime. Roka chefs cook this on the robata grill, which is said to originate from the fishermen off the coast of Japan, who would cook on the boats with different charcoals and share the bounty with one another using their oars. I love that idea, and whilst I can’t comment on how authentically Japanese these ribs are, they are comforting, succulent, packed with flavours, and I bet you’ll be fighting over the last rib!
- A platter of puddings was a dream end to the brunch.
Lychee, raspberry and passionfruit sorbets, and fresh tropical fruits lined the platter of lychee and matcha pannacotta, yuzu chocolate truffles, and the most beautiful plump chocolate Buddha. It was almost too pretty to eat. Almost! Starfruit, watermelon, dragon fruit, pineapple and berries dotted the plate but nobody could ultimately resist the chocolate mousse buddha. It was the perfect end to the brunch and I highly recommend it for those dining in a group!
The food at Roka is incredible, it’s perfect for brunch or for dinner, one of my favourite spots in London for catch ups, to linger and over eat at! The service, fabulous, and the food delicious. These are just some of my best dishes but there are so many treasures so I say go on, book a table and go soon! I’ll probably see you there!
Dare I say it, I like it even better than Zuma. Rainer Becker you legend, you!
Roka branches are dotted all over London – we went to the one on Aldwych but you can see more options here.
Have you been to Roka? What are your favourite dishes? I’ll undoubtedly be back soon so need to know! Comment below or connect with me on Instagram and let me know!
Pin for later: